Frozen in Time

The last month of school brings a tide of several feelings- exhaustion being the most prominent of these. You know that exhaustion- the kind that sucks your soul out through your toenails until you think it’s Friday and it’s only…well Tuesday. It’s a VERY familiar feeling this time of year.

For me the final stretch of this school year has brought multiple emotional minefields and pitfalls as I navigate the end of April. While I may be functioning well out the outside on the inside I am just terribly sad.

Overall my life is pretty amazing. My kids are thriving, I’m getting remarried in two months to a wonderful man, my chapter 2 and my job is awesome. I’m handling the day to day of single parenthood within the insanity of two busy kids as well as one can. I laugh, I’m sarcastic as always but given 5 minutes of downtime- I’m terribly sad.

I realized today as I was running and crying (again apologies to my county neighbors) that my daughter, my first born is really going to high school next year. Like August. She’s really going- it’s not a test or a joke. This weekend brought her last Cotillion, Tuesday is her last band concert and she just made the high school dance team. She is moving forward, moving on to her next steps in life and it just seems like too much.

It seems like too much because, you see, when she started middle school, her Daddy was alive. Life was completely different. He was so excited about her going to middle school but still covering his face at the thought of his little girl doing middle school things. Liking boys, dances, ball games, drama/hormones. He was your typical 6th grade father. However, he didn’t live to see the end of this stage of life. He was there at the beginning but not the end of middle school.

When Patrick died, Morgan still looked like a young girl, dealt with tween problems and still seemed like a child. In a little less than two years she is registering for AP classes, wrapped up in a social world that is light years beyond where she once was and looks like a young woman. She has strong ideas, goals for the next 10 years and will be operating a motor vehicle in 17 months. (Now, let us pray.)

I’m so proud of this woman she is becoming. I’m proud of her heart, her faith, her drive, her determination. I’m proud of her adjustment to change and her ability to adapt.

I’m sad though, deeply sad. Her proud father didn’t get to see this metamorphosis, this mighty change. In pictures with him she is forever frozen in time as a child, no make up, slightly messy hair, whatever t-shirt and mismatched socks. He never got to see her dream of making the high school dance team come true, her straight A streak continue and her newly unwavering commitment to shoes and fashion. He never got to see her evolution into a confident woman unfold.

As we prep for end of middle school events and high school beginnings it is bitterly poignant for me. We are accustomed to him not being there but this month, today, I am terribly sad that Patrick doesn’t get to see our amazing girl. I look at a picture of the two of them laughing, Morgan with a messy ponytail and her Daddy gazing at her with immense love. That father/daughter bond frozen in time.

I’m thankful for all the time we shared and the precious memories too; for all these memories are a comfort when I lovingly remember you. ~Author unknown